7.1/10
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114 user 340 critic

Holy Motors (2012)

Not Rated | | Drama, Fantasy | 4 July 2012 (France)
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From dawn to dusk, a few hours in the shadowy life of a mystic man named Monsieur Oscar.

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(screenplay)
28 wins & 68 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Mr. Oscar / Le Banquier / La Mendiante / L'O.S de la Motion Capture / M. Merde / Le Père / L'Accordéoniste / Le Tueur / Le Tué / Le Mourant / L'Homme au Foyer
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Céline (as Édith Scob)
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Kay M
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Eva Grace (Jean)
Elise Lhomeau ...
Léa (Élise)
Jeanne Disson ...
Angèle
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L'Homme à la tache de vin
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Le Dormeur / Voix Limousine (as LC)
Nastya Golubeva Carax ...
La Petite Fille
Reda Oumouzoune ...
L'Acrobate Mocap
Zlata ...
La Cyber-Femme
Geoffrey Carey ...
Le Photographe / Voix Limousine
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L'assistante photographe
Elise Caron
Corinne Yam
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Storyline

We see a few seconds of a black and white, silent art film. There is a dark movie theater filled with people watching this film. The camera mostly remains on the audience. Cut to a man sleeping on twin bed with a sleeping dog next to another empty twin bed with the same sheets. He gets up and looks out the window and we see he is next to an airport. One of the walls is covered in wallpaper with skinny bare trees. He puts his ear to the wall. There is a hole in the wall and he looks through it but we don't know if he can see anything. He has a metal instrument on the middle finger of his right hand. He sticks the instrument into the hole in the wall. His hand shakes a little and he turns the instrument. This allows him to open a door in the wall. The dog joins him as he steps through the door. There is a set of double doors and he steps through them. It seems as though he has stepped through the fire exit on the balcony of a movie theater, presumably the theatre that the film opened in...

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Genres:

Drama | Fantasy

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

4 July 2012 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Sveti motori  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the anthology film Tokyo! (2008), a segment Leos Carax made focuses on the character Merde, also played by Denis Lavant. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Oscar: Céline, we have to laugh before midnight.
Céline: We'll do our best, Mr. Oscar.
Mr. Oscar: Who knows if we'll laugh in the next life.
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Crazy Credits

"Katya, for you" with a picture of Yekaterina Golubeva during the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in La última película (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

How Are You Getting Home?
Written by Ron Mael
Performed by Sparks
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User Reviews

 
Life as performance - a surreal Parisian trip
14 June 2012 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Holy Motors is like a more out-there version of the films of Charlie Kaufman. You should expect surreal surprises, and my advice would be to not read too much about it before watching it, so you can just let the film happen to you, like an art experience. Don't expect this story of a man (a fully committed Denis Lavant) taking on 9 different personas in a day in Paris to make any neat logical sense, this is a film of dreams and ideas - music, madness, death, sex, despair and comedy. It seems to be about questions around acting - what does it mean to be an actor? aren't we all playing the part of our own lives? what does performing a role cost us? how does a performance manage to move us so intensely? I saw this at the Sydney Film Festival with a large audience, and it was interesting listening to people's laughter. Sometimes that was in response to a comic scene, but at other times it seemed more that a startling idea or image left some people not knowing how else to respond (eg a very odd short scene near the end, as Denis ends his workday, caused some people to laugh, while I found it terribly moving). The delight is in the individual scenes, though some of the scenarios have a real sadness to them: the motion capture scene, where human movement proves spellbinding in a way that CGI can never be; the sad tale of the daughter returning home after a party; the wonderfully crazed and uncomfortable Eva Mendes segment (make sure you check out the writing on the gravestones); and the surprisingly dramatic scene featuring pop icon Kylie Minogue (whose other film appearances were never anything like this). The tone and quality isn't consistent the whole way through, which can feel like a flaw, but it also keeps you on your toes. You might find parts of it pretentious or difficult to interpret, but the next moment you may be moved and not know why. It will definitely make most of the films you've watched recently seem very very dull.


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